The Jeep Wrangler’s roof doesn’t come equipped with a roof rack, so this DIY will show you how you can install a roof rack to create another outlet for storage.By Bassem Girgis – November 25, 2015
Contributors: DBB888

This article applies to the Jeep Wrangler JK (2007-Present).

The Jeep Wrangler comes with a removable roof, which made it hard for them to install a roof rack in it because of the weight. This procedure will show you how you can install a roof rack to your original roof; however, it will require you to drill into the roof, so if you’re not completely comfortable doing so, be sure to take it to an auto shop. Once the roof rack is installed, it will allow you to store various things on the outside of the vehicle, which will keep your interior clean and organized. Also, it will allow you to go on your off-road and camping trips more comfortably. After this guide, we will shine some light on some of the most popular brands for the Jeep Wrangler’s roof racks, so read on and continue reading on to learn the best roof racks for your budget as well as how to mount them on your car.

Figure 1. Roof rack installed.

Table of Contents

How to Install Roof Rack

Materials Needed

  • Drill bit (recommended size in roof rack manual)
  • Allen key
  • Blue tape

Step 1 – Mark the holes

The first and most important step is to mark where you will be drilling on your roof top. Remember, you only get one try, so take your time. Use the bracket that is your roof rack, put it on the edge of the roof where it will eventually go, and then mark where the holes will go. Use your blue tape to hold the bracket in place so it doesn’t move; this tape won’t leave a mark when you remove it later.

Figure 2. Align the bracket.

Figure 3. Align the bracket.

Step 2 – Drill the holes

Use your drill to drill the holes throughout the roof. Be very careful not to push down hard as you drill, or you will split the layers of the roof, so let the drill do the work and be patient.

Figure 4. Drill proper holes.

Step 3 – Install the roof rack

With the holes drilled, put the screws that came with the roof rack into the holes to hold the bracket in place. When all the screws are in place, go on the inside of the car and install the washers and nuts to the lower part of the screws and tighten them.

Figure 5. Tighten bracket in place.

Figure 6. Tighten washers and nuts.

Step 4 – Install the bracket and bar line

The final step is to install the rest of your roof rack to make it functional. Choose the spot on your roof where you want your bars to be, and tighten the brackets in that spot. You will need to feed it through the base part and tighten it in place using your Allen key.

Figure 7. Tighten in place.

Figure 8. Install bar.

Roof Rack Review

The Jeep Wrangler is made to explore the great outdoors, which means companies that make roof racks know that Jeep owners are their biggest market and they go all out to create unique racks. Roof racks vary in sizes, capabilities, looks, and prices. What works for you doesn’t necessary mean it will work for everybody. This guide will show you the popular brands that sell roof racks and some important information that will help you choose the right one for you. Read on to learn what roof rack best suits you and your budget.

Barricade Roof RackGobi Roof RackAEV Roof Rack
FinishPowder CoatingPowder CoatingTextured Powder Coating
Weight35.5 lbs70 lbs68 lbs
Compatibility2-Door OnlyBoth4-Door Only
Weight Capacity350 lbs800 lbs200 lbs

Best Quality: Gobi Roof Rack

Best Value: Barricade Roof Rack

Barricade Roof Rack

Price – $300-500

Finish – Powder Coating

Construction – Aluminum

Weight – 35.5 lbs

Compatibility – 2-Door Only

Weight Capacity – 350 lbs

The Barricade Roof Rack is the cheapest rack on our list, but it is not any less useful. This roof rack is designed for the 2-door Wrangler, and it’s constructed to carry 350 lbs on the roof of your wrangler; that’s 350 lbs worth of gear. This roof rack is designed to be bolted on without any drilling, so for the weak hearted, this product might be for you. Installation isn’t the easiest, but it is not nearly as hard or risky as the ones where you need to drill. Some customers complained that this roof rack’s crossmember is a bit loose, which causes it to rattle. Other enthusiasts complained the crossmembers were a tad too short, but the company had no issue replacing the rack. Recommended if you’re looking for a good product without spending too much money.

Gobi Roof Rack

Price – $1,600

Finish – Powder Coating

Construction – Aluminum

Weight – 70 lbs

Compatibility – Both

Weight Capacity – 800 lbs

The Gobi Roof Rack is a little more than just a rack, and with this price tag, you’d hope it is. This rood rack is designed intelligently to flow with the lines of your Jeep to prevent too much wind resistant. The 1,600 dollars rack is a monster of a rack, as it is compatible with two or four doors, can store up to 800 lbs worth of gear and luggage; that is if you can find 800 lbs worth of things you want to take with you on a trip. There is more good news, this product does not require you to drill in your factory roof, which means you will pay $1,600, but there is no risk of hidden costs due to faulty drilling. Some customers did report a loss in MPG due to the extra weight of this aluminum rack, while other complained they needed to tighten it after a few months of use. All in all, if you’re willing to spend the money, it doesn’t get much better than this product. Recommended if you’re looking for a heavy duty rack and you don’t mind spending extra money.

AEV Roof Rack

Price – $1,050

Finish – Textured Powder Coating

Construction – Aluminum

Weight – 68 lbs

Compatibility – 4-Door Only

Weight Capacity – 200 lbs

The AEV Roof Rack is made out of aluminum and is finished with black textured powder coating, which gives it an aggressive look that is just right for your Wrangler. Of course, if you have a 2-door Jeep, you may want to look somewhere else because this is only designed for the 4-door Wrangler. This product requires you to drill in your factory roof, so you either want to be extremely careful or you may want to call your friendly mechanic to help you out. This rack adds roughly three inches to the height of your Wrangler, add the luggage on top of it, plus its weight of 68 lbs, and you may have an MPG issue. If you live somewhere with rough weather, don’t worry because this is non-corrosive; it may not seem like an issue now, but a few years in and you may wish differently. This product easily allows you to add a cage to it or modify it, but the original installment is rather scary since drilling is involved. If there is anything the forum members agree on most, it’s that this product is far overpriced for what it offers. Recommended if you’re looking for a good product and you don’t mind drilling.

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